Sweating The Small Stuff..


“..and since strong women sweat, we created new Sure Maximum Protection anti-perspirant”

I know, I know, it’s an advert and it really shouldn’t bother me – it’s just an advert. I know all of this, believe me, I know.

But, it does bother me.

It bothers me a lot.

Have you seen it? The new ‘inspiring’ Sure for women advert which will make us all rush out and buy more deodorant, and apply it immediately because of all the rushing and shoving people out of the way with our big strong arms we’ve done to get to the shops before they sold out?

Because finally, oh sweet baby jesus, finally someone has realised that strong women like us –  we sweat, you know.

*Cue hard hitting, empowering visuals of women holding babies, wearing powersuits, loitering around the gym and exposing their armpits in a dank grey warehouse. *



I get it – women are strong. I know a lot of strong women; largely because I used to volunteer down at the local judo club, but mainly because I happen to know a lot of women who I find inspiring. I can confirm that at least 99% of those women sweat. (I’ve still not figured out whether one of them is in fact a strong woman, or a very pretty man)

I know a lot of fragile, anxious women too.  They sweat as well. In fact, probably even more so because they’re so nervous and stressed from all the worrying they do.

The problem I have with this advert is that people are heralding it as an important U-turn in advertising for women. No longer are they being told that they should buy a deodorant because it will make them feel like Keira Knightley riding a white horse across a beach and smell like an angel has kissed their armpits. No. As one positive reviewer put it:  “I’m being told I should buy deodorant because I’m a human, I work hard and I sweat…that’s why I would buy this deodorant.”

Well, quite frankly, if you need to be told to buy deodorant and further still, reminded that you’re human in the first place then you’re exactly the sort of idiot that need this kind of faux empowering bullshit.

It’s not a powerful feminist message. It’s a deodorant advert. About armpits. And sweating. 

I understand that companies have to invest a lot of money and creativity into their advertising campaigns in order to stave off competition and generate interest in their brand, I understand that completely – and hey, look, it’s working because I’m moaning about something that I’ll probably buy anyway because I, Karen Bevan, am a Sweaty Betty.

I’m sweating just typing this.

Sometimes, on a hot day, I even sweat brushing my teeth – or sitting still. Use that in your next bloody campaign.

It’s the wording that I have a problem with: “…and since strong women sweat…”

I guess promoting a brand that’s centred entirely around the excretion levels of sweat glands, is always going to be a pretty tough market to keep interesting, so I salute them for that.

But, I can honestly say that I admire the no frills campaign adopted by Corsodyl mouthwash recently, much, much more…

“Corsodyl mouthwash: Clinically proven to treat gum disease”

Because there really is no point in trying to sex up & inspire people where gum disease is concerned.

Believe me, I’ve tried




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